What Happened? This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.


   What happened to the slogans "Try your best,""Just have fun" and "Winning isn't everything"? High schoolathletes rarely hear these comments from their coaches anymore because these oldchestnuts just aren't good enough. Coaches demand success and discipline fromplayers, and success comes only in the form of winning. To win, many coachesinsist on hard work, but when did coaches make their players employees?

InFlorida, coaches drool over a climate that is warm year-round. Kids, if you wantto play two sports, you'd better make sure it's okay with your coaches becauseplaying one sport during its official season means missing practices with yourother team. Coaches are known to bust the chops of these multi-sport athletesbecause they feel they are getting cheated out of the team member's potentialinput. Coaches, stop being selfish and let these kids play soccer and tennis orbaseball and football!

Maybe we should talk about the pain and sacrificeof a one-sport athlete. In the summer you practice once, maybe even twice, a dayin an average temperature of 94 degrees. This is where you work on your tanbecause you can absolutely forget about going to the beach with friends. Practiceusually starts at

9 a.m., but make sure you are there early becausetardiness of even one minute results in running extra laps or getting sent homeand not playing the next game. Coaches also forget that not all kids can drivethemselves to practice, and must rely on their parents sacrificing their sleep torush their child to the field on time. Practice can run from two to four hours,if you are not performing the way coach wants. And almost always, practice endsin the form of a grueling type of conditioning such as 100- to 200-yardsprints.

Practice makes perfect, huh? Forget that too much practice canburn out the kids, or take the fun out of the sport. After practice a playerfeels relieved and is ready to go home and grab a nap or a bite to eat. However,when the athletes are too tired to think, the coach wants them to hit the weightsso they can become bigger, faster and stronger. Coaches also don't take intoaccount that players have practice again in 24 hours.

Competition is thename of the game these days. Kids don't even necessarily go to school to get agood education; their parents send them to a school with a winning team, or asuccessful athletic program. Some have gone to four schools during their highschool years just to play on the team of their choice.

Are coacheseven concerned with injuries? They are only concerned that one of their playerswill not be able to contribute for a win. Probably the most common injury forhigh school athletes is tendonitis, an inflammation and bruising of the tendons.Uneducated coaches don't know that this injury is caused from extreme overuse ofthe body, an injury that the coach is to blame for.




This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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